Massive Minnesota settlement a possible precedent in Pa. abuse cases

By Peter Smith
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
June 12, 2018

Advocates for sexual-abuse survivors are rebooting their effort on Tuesday in Harrisburg for legislation that would allow victims to sue over abuse that happened years or decades ago.

And if a recent settlement in Minnesota is any indication, the implications for such legislation could be huge for Pennsylvania’s Roman Catholic dioceses, which are facing the imminent release of a landmark grand jury report into 70 years of alleged sexual abuse and cover-up.

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis on May 31 reached at $210 million settlement with about 450 victims of abuse by clergy and others associated with the church.

That followed the archdiocese’s 2015 bankruptcy filing, which itself followed an avalanche of lawsuits made possible by a 2013 Child Victim’s Act. That Minnesota law provided a three-year window in the statute of limitations that otherwise had barred lawsuits over long-ago abuse.


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